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Expansion Draft Wish List: New York Red Bulls

Who will be available from the defending Supporters’ Shield winners?

MLS: SuperDraft Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Columbus Crew

D.C. United

FC Dallas

Houston Dynamo

LA Galaxy

Montreal Impact

New England Revolution

New York City FC

The reigning, defending, and even possibly repeat MLS Supporters’ Shield winners, New York Red Bulls, are up next in our Wish List series. For the last few years, the red half of New York has been the class of the Eastern conference and one of the best in the entire league. Whether it’s Mike Petke or Jesse Marsch in charge, the Red Bulls just continue to have the blueprint for success.

As with most elite teams in MLS they are loaded with talent and depth. Sorting through their roster it becomes apparent that no matter who Marsch and Ali Curtis choose to protect, there is going to be at least one or two attractive names up for grabs.

Here’s who we see them protecting:

Projected Protected List:

  1. Aurelien Collin
  2. Gideon Baah
  3. Mike Grella
  4. Sacha Kljestan
  5. Felipe
  6. Kemar Lawrence
  7. Dax McCarty
  8. Damien Perrinelle
  9. Luis Robles
  10. Daniel Royer
  11. Bradley Wright-Phillips

Exempt List:

  1. Tyler Adams
  2. Brandon Allen
  3. Sean Davis
  4. Derek Etienne Jr.
  5. Connor Lade
  6. Alex Muyl

Available Players:

  1. Anatole Abang
  2. Justin Bilyeu
  3. Omer Damari
  4. Chris Duvall
  5. Aaron Long
  6. Ryan Meara
  7. Kyle Reynish
  8. Gonzalo Veron
  9. Shaun Wright-Phillips
  10. Sal Zizzo
  11. Ronald Zubar

Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Gonzalo Veron, Chris Duvall

Jason: You would have to think that Gonzalo Veron, one of New York’s Designated Players, is left unprotected. The Red Bulls have never really been a fit for Veron, he has only started five times for them this season in all competitions. He was a former teammate of Hector Villalba at San Lorenzo before coming to the Big Apple. Is this a case of a player who wasn’t ready for a move to MLS, Veron just not fitting into the Red Bulls’ system, or was he overrated?

You would expect that Tata Martino and his staff would know how Veron could fit into their system here. On paper, it sounds like a no brainer if they rate him highly enough. One other thing to conisder, Veron is on a DP level salary, but it is low enough that it could be bought down with allocation money.

If they pass on Veron, Chris Duvall is an athletic fullback who can play on either side of the backline and even slot into the middle in a pinch. He can get forward well, which is a trait favored by Martino. Duvall played for the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves while he was at Wake Forest and is originally from Duluth.

Sal Zizzo is a serviceable right sided player whose versatility could be useful for an expansion club. Ronald Zubar is a veteran center back who could provide some experience in the back.

Rob: For some reason, Gonzalo Veron hasn’t found his stride yet with the Red Bulls since arriving in August of 2015. If he is left unprotected, he seems like a no-brainer considering his Argentinian ties to Tata and Tito. His track record speaks for itself, but he just hasn’t clicked in MLS yet. Perhaps playing under his countryman in a more familiar style and structure would instill some confidence and allow Veron to find his best form.

Having Tito Villalba and Gonzalo Veron on each wing flanking a target man like Kenwyne Jones is a mouthwatering thought.

Chris Duvall is a local product, so he makes some sense on that front. He’s also a very serviceable fullback in MLS. However, I’m just not sure if he’s the type of player worthy of using one of the coveted five slots on in the draft. Perhaps he’s a candidate to acquire by other means once the draft is complete? That would make more sense than drafting him here, in my opinion.

Ryan Meara and Sal Zizzo are to names people will likely recognize too. Meara took the league by storm in his rookie year in 2012. However, since then he’s slipped into irrelevance. There’s just better goalkeeping options than him available. Same goes for Zizzo. He’s had spurts in the past of being a very good player, but this season has seen him regress, so I’m not sure he’s worth consideration.